Tara Booker and Sara Mostafa attended elementary school and middle school together, and were teammates for four years at Absegami High School. At Absegami, they helped the girls basketball team to back-to-back state titles in 2005 and 2006.
So it should be no surprise that the pair of Galloway products are now both fifth-year seniors with the women’s basketball team at George Washington University, a Division I program that plays in the tough Atlantic 10 Conference.
Both players have their undergraduate degrees and are working on master’s degrees. Both hope to play professionally once their college careers end after the 2012-13 season.
“I want to keep playing basketball. I want to pursue playing overseas,” said Booker, a 6-foot-1 forward/guard who was born in Galloway on Oct. 11, 1989.
Booker went over the 1,000 point mark for her college career on Dec. 15 in a 61-60 win at home against crosstown foe Howard. She had a team-high 18 points in that game, and Mostafa and Booker each had a team-high nine rebounds against Howard.
“I was happy I got it at home,” Booker said of her 1,000th point. “And you don’t want to get that in a loss.”
Booker started nine of the first 10 games and averaged a team-high 10.5 points with 5.6 rebounds per contest.
Mostafa played in eight of the first 10 games, with seven starts, and averaged 4.8 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per contest. She broke her thumb in a game against Georgetown earlier this season. She missed two contests but is now back on the floor.
“I need to be a defensive presence. My role hasn’t changed” under first-year head coach Jonathan Tsipis, said the 6-5 center.
Born in Atlantic City on April 6, 1990, Mostafa earned her bachelor’s degree in public health from GW in May and is now working on her master’s degree in environmental health science and policy.
“I hope to continue and play overseas. That is my passion and I want to pursue that,” Mostafa said of a possible pro career.
Her father is from Egypt and she made two trips there when she was younger, including one when she was in high school.
Former Absegami standout Kristina Rosario played in college at Morgan State in Baltimore and has played pro ball in Puerto Rico. Former GW teammate Jessica Adair has played in the WNBA with Minnesota and with pro teams in Turkey and Spain. She is now in Australia.
If a pro career does not work out, Mostafa, who scored 1,292 points in high school, said she plans to get a job in the real world. But first she is preparing for Atlantic 10 Conference play in her last college season under Tsipis, a former associate head coach for national power Notre Dame.
“It has been a great experience. He has brought winning ways with him,” Mostafa said of Tsipis. “He knows the winning formula.”
The Colonials were 5-5 overall going into a home game Dec. 22 against George Mason. GW plays Dec. 28 at California.
Booker scored 1,862 points at Absegami and was the MVP of the 2006 Group IV state tournament. She won Player of the Year honors from several area newspapers during her high school career.
Absegami was 107-17 in four years with Booker and Mostafa.
Booker has had to deal with knee injuries and a coaching change during her GW career, but has been a key player throughout. She graduated in less than four years with a degree in sociology and is now working on a master’s in organizational sciences.
“I have played everywhere from the two (shooting guard) to the five (center). We have been playing with injuries (on the team) for a long time,” Booker said. “I am a shooter. My role has been to be a shooter.”
That is what she has done, and she has over 1,000 points to prove it.